The jurisdiction, i.e. the country or head office where the VPN provider is based, is a crucial parameter in terms of its reliability.
The best jurisdictions are in countries that have very strict privacy and confidentiality laws.
States where the government does not enforce mandatory data retention, which by definition excludes all countries that are part of the 5 eyes alliance.
To summarize, there are 3 key parameters to determine the best jurisdictions for a VPN provider:
1. Best privacy laws.
2. Countries with the least agreement with Western governments and the 5, 9 and 14 eyes alliance.
3. Countries with the least financial resources to spend on large-scale surveillance.
Table of contents
The most reliable countries for VPN providers
The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands (BVI), although sharing the same monarch as the United Kingdom, are a group of autonomous islands located in the Caribbean. They have their own legislature, enact their laws and have an independent judiciary.
In addition, the British Virgin Islands is not a member of any international data-sharing alliance. This means that VPN systems based in their territory are not subject to surveillance laws that allow intelligence agencies to lawfully access or intercept customer data.
And finally, the British Virgin Islands has no data retention laws.
The Cayman Islands
Like the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands is a self-governing territory in the Caribbean Sea.
They also have their own laws and policies on data privacy.
The Territory adopted a comprehensive Data Protection Act in 2017, which incorporates many of the principles of the EU’s General Regulation on Data Protection (GDR), a legal framework that strongly protects consumer privacy and data.
The best-known VPN providers based in The Cayman Islands :
Despite its proximity to China and historical ties to the UK, Hong Kong enjoys economic and political independence and has strict privacy laws that make it an excellent location for a VPN.
However, given the political situation in recent years this may change in the future.
Although a member of the EU, Romania is not a 5, 9 & 14 eyes country. It does not apply mandatory data retention (for ISPs or VPNs).
Romania is one of the few European countries considered safe for VPN providers.
Panama’s constitution guarantees freedom of expression, association, and freedom of the press. Arbitrary interference with privacy, correspondence, family, or home is prohibited.
However, corruption remained a problem that often led the government to crack down on criticism of public officials and cut off mobile and Internet access in unstable areas.
However, this is never beyond the scope of the country’s local politics (an internal problem) and does not affect VPN providers.
Bulgaria, like Romania, is part of the European Union but does not apply mandatory data retention laws to high-tech companies (including VPNs).
La Bulgarie est également en dehors du traité des 5, 9 & 14 eyes.
The best-known VPN providers based in Bulgaria :
It may seem surprising to find here a country that is part of the alliance of the 5, 9 & 14 eyes In reality, the status of the Netherlands is ambivalent.
On the one hand, they have always been considered exemplary in all matters of privacy and data confidentiality.
Many privacy associations are based there, including Start Page, the privacy search engine recommended by Edward Snowden.
Nevertheless, the Netherlands has since attempted to pass new laws on mass surveillance. But the Dutch have rejected this invasive new policy bill in a referendum.
The best-known VPN providers based in Netherlands :
- Goose VPN
Despite strong internal censorship, Singapore is generally regarded as a technological paradise. It has strict data privacy laws that protect corporate and personal data.
All these criteria make it a good choice for a VPN provider, as the government tends to give international technology companies a lot of freedom.
The best-known VPN providers based in Singapore :
Sweden is the second country belonging to the 5, 9 & 14 eyes alliance to appear on our list of safest countries.
The country’s constitution guarantees civil liberties and prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy.
The government firmly respects these rights, establishing one of the freest socio-political environments in the world.
The law requires intelligence agencies to obtain court approval before monitoring cross-border online traffic to combat threats to national security. With the exception of the blocking of the Pirate Bay, the state does not interfere with citizens’ access to the Internet.
The best-known VPN providers based in Sweden :
Switzerland is a federal republic with a constitution that guarantees freedom of speech and of the press.
The government does not restrict its citizens’ access to the Internet, nor does it monitor e-mail or social networks without judicial review.
Such judicial control is, moreover, only allowed in extremely serious cases (having downloaded the latest Spiderman on torrent or expressing disagreement with government policy will not be valid reasons).
However, nearly 70% of Swiss citizens voted in a referendum in favour of a bill allowing the state to legally monitor the online activities of its citizens.
Despite this, no cases of abuse of power have been reported. Switzerland remains one of the safest countries in the world for a VPN provider.